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Archie Ingersoll, Published December 04 2013

Increasing winds will make travel difficult in region

As flakes continue to fall in the Fargo-Moorhead region, forecasters are warning Wednesday that increasing wind speeds could make driving tricky this afternoon.

“The big concern is going to be the blowing and drifting snow,” WDAY meteorologist Aaron White said. “It’s definitely going to create some drifts onto the roads.”

White predicts winds between 15 and 25 mph, accompanied by gusts up to 30 mph.

Wind or no wind, driving conditions in the region have been treacherous.

In Fargo, between 8 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. today, police were dispatched to 41 crashes, three of which involved injuries, Lt. Joel Vettel said.

In Moorhead, Sgt. Clint Stephenson said his department received reports of about six crashes between 7 and 10 a.m. No motorists were hurt, he said.

Across Minnesota, state troopers have handled 175 crashes today, 137 of those occurred in the Twin Cities area. No serious injuries or fatalities were reported.

The Minnesota State Patrol has also counted 192 cases of vehicles off the road and one jackknifed semi.

Because of ice, snow, wind and reduced visibility, the North Dakota Department of Transportation has issued a travel alert, urging drivers to use caution in the central and eastern parts of the state.

Moderate snowfall is expected to last into the early afternoon, followed by light snow, White said. Total accumulation of 3 to 5 inches is possible for the day, according to the National Weather Service.

By early this evening, the temperature will drop to about 13. The high for Thursday is 4 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and wind chill values as low as minus 22, the weather service says.